The Hovawart Club of Great Britain

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Breed Notes - 10 Mar 2009
By: Elaine Betts

A house full of foreign visitors, some very late nights and early morning dog walks, flasks on the draining board, leads, paperwork, car park tickets, sandwich wrappings, titbit and treat bags- just a few clues around that announce the chaos we call Crufts !! Each year that John and I have been at “Discover Dogs” it has got better and better. This year was no exception, with a personal “thank you” from a KC representative, good vouchers for sandwiches and coffee etc., two chairs, water bowl, towel, wipes etc. etc. Brilliant, and £25 a day expenses which we divided amongst all the helpers. A big “thank you” to everybody and dogs that helped, especially Lloyd Spencer who offered at the last minute to help both put up and take down all the fixtures and fittings. I think we gave a jolly good account of ourselves, especially as we are such a numerically small breed compared to some. Interesting, too, that our dogs left little or no hair on the booth carpet, unlike some of the neighbouring breeds. The new layout looked good, and Julie had enlarged some of the 2009 calendar photos, which just spruced up the overall appearance, as did washing the German flag, which has come up like new. It was a pity Julie didn’t get to see the results of her labours.

In the ring, Anne Stewart’s home bred Fasskoleys Sallins Solo took BoB, with Anne Travis’ equally home bred Annvad Carefree Princess BoS. Reserves were respectively Val Shone’s Minches Jet of Zwartbos, and Elinor Anderson’s Pines Marionberry of Myrtillas. Congratulations to all the winners. There were a few absentees due to bitches in season, or hopefully in the first stages of pregnancy, but we were pleased to welcome several dogs from overseas. Surprisingly, several foreign champions found themselves down the line, and some previously overlooked dogs gained top honours, but that as they say, is the name of the game, and the whole business of dog showing would be pointless if results were predictable. What is desirable, though, is that, particularly at Crufts, which is our showcase to the whole world, and for which people have to pay considerable sums to attend, is that judges should be seen to respect the exhibitors just as much as the exhibitors are expected to respect the judge, and I cannot help saying that on Sunday, our judge didn’t give any evidence of enjoyment in dealing with our breed. I am sure that it is within the rules, but for example I was surprised, and had I been involved would have been disappointed, that the second to the best dog and bitch were not asked to compete for the reserve spots, and the four top winners were made to wait for their cards to be signed until several other breeds had been judged.

We rounded off our doggie weekend with a visit on Monday to see Lynne and Liz’s lovely litter of puppies, a trip well worth the long journey….puppies at 6 weeks is just too good an invitation to turn down. There were great discussions on shoulder placement, tail carriage, bone, movement, jaw, eye colour and so on, rather like the Antiques Road Show without the real experts! It will be most interesting to watch them growing up to see if any of our predictions were accurate. One thing you can say, you would be hard pushed to find a better reared litter, and all the babies were friendly and outgoing.

A last word on Crufts. I hope the BBC resume their coverage in the future, I missed the rush home to catch the Supreme Champion on the box, and it didn’t even feature in the news…..sour grapes, I reckon !!
This article was posted on: 10-Mar-09